Do You Know The Damage That Blue Light Can Cause?

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Are you on the computer during most of your waking hours? Then, you probably aren’t aware of the damage blue light can cause. Chances are you are now reading this blog on your phone that emits this “blue” light.

So, what is this blue light? Should you be worried?

When a light wave is long, the energy transmitted is less. Blue light has high-energy, short waves that have the power to cause damage. They are not as powerful as UV rays, which health experts warn us about.

But, our exposure to this light is much more since we use devices dependent on LED technology. Whether it’s your Samsung phone or the flat-screen TV at home, you expose your eyes to high doses of blue light.

Our eyes already have structures to protect themselves against light, but these cannot block out blue light. It explains why whenever people use backlit digital screens at a close range, they end up damaging their eyesight.

According to a 2020 Indian Journal of Opthalmology study, when the Covid lockdown happened, almost 32.4% of the people surveyed used screens emitting blue light for nearly 9-11 hours daily. It happened because much of the work became remote during this period, forcing people to use their laptops and phones more than usual.

What are the possible risks and side effects?

  • Macular Degeneration: Did you know that AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people above 50? This statistic, given by the AAO (American Academy of Opthalmology), indicates that the macula at the back of the eyes gets damaged as we age. So, we can no longer see the center of our field of vision while we can see things on the periphery. The blurry vision worsens with time, especially when people are overexposed to blue light.
  • Eye strain: If you use digital devices at close range for prolonged periods, you will unnecessarily strain your eyes. According to a study, when one uses computers and digital devices, they do not blink often. When that happens, it can cause dryness and irritation. Digital eye strain hampers our eye’s power to focus, causing headaches and sore eyes.
  • Sleep patterns: While opinions remain divided on whether blue light can affect eye health, experts agree it can cause havoc with the sleep cycle. Our eyes have light sensors that can understand the difference between the redder and warmer tones when the day ends and the intense, bright waves during the day. When the day ends, these sensors prompt the body to release melatonin, the sleep hormone. But, if you keep looking at the blue light before sleeping, it can affect the body’s sleep-and-wake cycles.

What’s the best way to protect your eyes from blue light?

  • Start wearing blue light-blocking glasses made using specially-crafted lenses to block out digital screen-emitted blue light. The lenses can reduce retinal damage and protect your eyes from the glare caused by prolonged exposure.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule to avoid straining the eyes. Whenever you use a computer or a device that gives out blue light, stop every 20 minutes and look at any object about 20 feet away. Focus on that for another 20 seconds before resuming your screen time.
  • Make sure your eyes are moist by using eye drops like artificial tears. Use room humidifiers to protect the eyes from becoming dehydrated and irritated.
  • Always use glasses with the correct prescription. If your prescription glasses are faulty and you end up squinting at the screen for a long time, it’s harmful.
  • Adjust the screen light by opting for a night setting having warmer tones that are easier on the eye.

Blue light can be damaging; however,  if you know how to protect your eyes from it, you can avoid the side effects and enjoy perfectly-healthy vision until you are 80.